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Pizza in Lexington/Belmont/Arlington?

I know, pizza quests abound on this board, but we've just moved to Lexington and this is a stumper. I'm not a fan of the Greek style "house of pizza" pizzas, and I'm too much of a bleeding heart liberal to buy from Upper Crust Pizzeria (yet, depends on how desperate I get).

My husband works near Fresh Pond and we're in East Lexington, so Arlington and Belmont are pretty easy for us. Gran Gusto is great but it's a bit tough for him to hit at dinnertime because it puts him in the middle of traffic he'd rather avoid. I read an article on Ristorante Olivo in Arlington that sounds like their pizza is up my alley, but it's a bit far for us and they don't do takeout. Any recommendations? (delivery a plus!)

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  1. Ever since my beloved Nicola closed last month (owners retired after 42 years in the biz!), I'm at a loss. Sabatino's gets praise here and we liked it well enough but I'd love a place within walking distance. My neighbors like Capri but I've yet to try it. Jimmy's is horrible.

    In Belmont center there is Stone Hearth.

    2 Replies
    1. re: digga

      I think I'd like Stone Hearth but I should also add that my parents are visiting (born and bred on Long Island) and I think Stone Hearth would be a bit too yuppie/weird for them.

      1. re: Chris VR

        if you want to get take out for after your parents leave, he could avoid the worst traffic by going to stonehearth in belmont ctr and taking what becomes Park over Belmont Hill to Arl, then shortcut left at church to bring you out to tr j mass ave arl. ( And just fyi, there is a stone hearth in winch too. less crazy than Belmont for eating in.) best of luck. congrats on your move.

    2. Is Armando's too out of the way for him? From FP, it's a straight shot down Concord Ave. And, he can also pick up goodies at Formaggio.

      ETA: maybe to avoid the FP traffic, he can continue down Concord into Belmont and catch the Rt. 60 entrance to Rt. 2. Then he can also stop at Iggy's for more treats.

      2 Replies
      1. re: beetlebug

        He works very close to Iggy's, so that's the opposite direction of where he needs to go (I think he's been taking that route you suggest home). Hopefully I can convince him that good pizza is worth the trek... I think tonight we'll aim for Capri or Sabatino's, will report back, thanks!

        1. re: beetlebug

          I agree with the suggestion of Armando's -- traffic isn't always snarled- up concord via the round about and then back
          Armando's is old school really great, pizza

        2. I'd definitely give Capri in Arlington Heights a try. Nothing mind blowing, but solid old-school italian style pizza and close to east lex. Sabatinos can be good, but inconsistent. If you've never been to Armando's you should at least visit once. I really like Pizza Roma in Watertown, but I don't think that would work logistically as a regular spot.

          1. Have you tried Za in East Arlington? Some like it, some don't -- I do. I am also a huge fan of Stella's in Watertown which is not really on the way from FP to Lexington but something to keep in mind if you are on an Arax-Fastachi run.

            2 Replies
            1. re: GretchenS

              Good places to keep in mind if I am out and about, thanks!

              1. re: GretchenS

                I liked Za when it first opened, but the crust had gotten too soggy for me, especially if you take it out (and I only live five minutes away). Last time it was so bad I could have pressed my finger into the crust and left a print.....tho I chose not to!

              2. Is Woburn too far? Louie's pizza on Main St. has a nice pie, but be careful as they run out early.

                1 Reply
                1. re: justbeingpolite

                  Wish I'd known about Louie's when I was driving the back ways from our weekly class in Burlington to Melrose! A bit far for us now, but will keep in mind!

                2. I haven't been in the past few months, but the couple of times I've tried Andrina's in Arlington Heights we've been happy enough. It (used to be) is the same people that own Pini's in Waltham.

                  The pizza on their website looks pretty unappetizing, but it is regular thin-crust pizza so don't let that scare you away. Decent crust and sauce, a solid if unremarkable pizza and pretty convenient to East Lexington so it will be hot.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bear

                    I had no idea that Andrina's was associated with Pini's! When we lived in the 'ville, the Winter Hill location was our go-to pizza. If it resembles anything close to that, we'll be happy! We'll try a pie from there ASAP.

                    1. re: digga

                      Please do! I've only had pizza from either place a few times and not very close together, so I can't give an expert assessment. Be looking forward to your experienced assessment.

                      1. re: bear

                        We got Andrina's last night. Not at all what they picture on the website, so I'm glad you recommended it! It was very thin crust- sort of reminded me of Santarpio's in thinness, actually.

                        I liked it a lot, my son and husband too, but my daughter, who usually isn't very picky at all, didn't like the cheese. I think they use some different cheeses in their mixture... maybe a bit of cheddar? It had cooled down a fair amount on the trip home and was a bit more solid than some other pizzas can be at that temperature, which is what has me thinking cheddar may be in there, because I think that hardens a bit more. I'm usually pretty critical of sauces around here, finding most tomato sauces on the sweet side, but I didn't notice that this time.

                        They have some really offbeat options for sauces and toppings, with a very quirky selection of Specialty pizzas (I want to try the baked potato pizza when I"m in a less traditional pizza mood!) I'd definitely order from there again, hopefully keeping it a bit warmer so it passes the texture test for my daughter.

                  2. We are also in East Lexington, and Andrina's is our choice for delivery. But if you are up for a short drive Joe Pizza in West Medford is very good. It's not Greek style, though the crust is not as thin as Andrina's. The sauce is very good. You can get any combo, but some of their specialty pizzas are very good. I particularly like one they have with caramelized onions and gorgonzola. Joe Pizza also makes great salads with an excellent homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Andrina's salads are okay but nothing special.

                    1. i was not aware that the current crew at the upper crust treat their employees terribly as did the original owners.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                        My understanding (via Boston Globe and Wikipedia) is that the same CEO has retained ownership of the locations in Beacon Hill, Brookline, Lexington, South End, Watertown, and Wellesley. I'd like to hope he's learned his lessons, but if I can find another option, I'll do that.

                      2. I talked my husband into stopping at Armando's, but it really was just the wrong direction at the wrong time, because he came home with pretty cold pizza. I liked it, though- the crust especially had a nice taste, although the sauce was a bit too sweet.

                        The picture on Andrina's site looks like Greek style pizza, but it's good to hear that it's not representative of the real thing, so we'll give that a go next time. Hope to hear a good report from digga!

                        1. Here is an earlier post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840520

                          I went for lunch about 6 months ago for slices, wasn't impressed, liked Sabatino's and Armondo's better and for sicilian pinocchios harvard sq or Umberto's North End.

                          1. I've enjoyed the pizza at Newtowne Grille on Mass Ave. many times, thanks to a tip from Chowhound a while ago.

                            1. Go to Whole Foods in Woburn. Wheat dough is a must for us, and it's still one of the few pizza places that allow you to buy wheat dough on a pizza if you request it. The veggie is nothing short of spectacular there. The colorful array of them just makes it a dish worth driving to and it is very filling. I normally need 1/2 a 16" pie to fill me while 1/3 of that pie does the trick It is a couple dollars more than your average pie but it's worth it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kreptol

                                k, Must try that wh wht veg pizza at WF Wob; thx. (and just in case you didn't know, Stone Hearth does a wh wht crust and a gluten free crust as well. well done and the spicy sauce are a must. )